When you are expecting your first child most parents first words to you are “get your sleep in now while you can”. I always used to think to myself surely it can’t be that bad and I think I can handle it. But no nothing prepares you for the lack of sleep, whether it be night feeds, crying, dirty nappy’s or just baby being unsettled, it hits you like a ton of bricks.
I feel like my sleep deprivation was a build up of no sleep while I was pregnant, because let’s face it when its the final couple of weeks it’s pretty hard to have a decent night’s sleep. With making numerous trips to the toilet and heartburn I had no chance. Then on top of that if you are in slow labour and it lasts a few days you’re going to struggle with sleep again.
Once I had my daughter and went home the sleep really caught me up and after I few weeks it got to the point where I honestly thought I couldn’t cope. And with a mixture of baby blues I just broke down. I worried I wasn’t a good enough mum and I couldn’t cope, I just wanted to lie in bed and cry. Its hard as a new mum to say you’re struggling and to ask for help but I found it’s better in the long run to ask, whether its your mum, a friend or your partner. My mum and partner were a great help and my mum offered to look after the baby for the night and let us both have a decent night’s sleep. At first I was reluctant because again I felt like I was failing as a mother, but it helped so much to recharge my batteries.
I then came up with a night time routine for Heidi and it helped with her sleeping and us to. After about 2 months she would just sleep through the night and didn’t wake for a night bottle. Firstly we would give her a warm bath with Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Bath, which she loved. Secondly it was baby massage time using Johnson’s Bedtime baby lotion. I had started attending the baby massage classes so would do the moves I learnt each week. We would then snuggle on the couch with a warm bottle of milk and a story. Heidi’s favourite book at the time was The Very Silly Sheep, I think it was the pop ups that made her giggle.
She would then drift off to sleep and sleep from around 7pm till 7am which was great.
Do you have any tips or tricks you have learnt along the way to help with sleep deprivation?